SOLD - 1901 8nhp Aveling and Porter Showmans Road Locomotive No. 4885 “Samson”


This double crank compound two speed engine left the Rochester works in November 1901 as a Class LC8 road locomotive and was supplied to the Admiralty for hauling heavy guns. Although a large engine with 7’ driving wheels, it had the advantage of being relatively narrow for negotiating narrow streets and bridges.

In the 1930s it was fitted with a dynamo bracket and full Showmans fittings for the well known showman Charles Presland of Tilbury. It was saved for preservation in the 1960s and restored by Tom Paisley of Holywell, Hunts. It was one of the star lots at the famous Paisley Sale in 1980 being acquired by Tom Varley of Gisburn, Yorkshire. In his ownership, the engine was fitted with a new firebox and bottom third of the boiler barrel in 1984 and further restoration was carried out.

“Samson” was acquired by Derek Stevenson of Skegness in 1990 and last steamed in 1995, having been rarely seen in public.  Since that time the engine has been carefully stored. 

In order to remove any mystery regarding the condition of the boiler, it has been decided to send the engine to the highly respected boilersmith Allison Engineering for a thorough strip down and inspection with a view to a 10 year hydraulic test and current boiler certificate. The firebox was found to be in almost as new condition, however all the crown stays have been replaced, as the old ones were not threaded, but merely welded over. The barrel was found to be in good condition and the smoke box tubeplate has been renewed, along with a new set of fire tubes. Although the smoke box was serviceable, it has also been renewed. The whole engine will be re commissioned and ready to rally.

Either in legitimate showmans or original road locomotive form, this is a unique and important engine. We are seeking offers over £350,000. There is a buyers premium of 5% (+vat) on the purchase price

For further information, please contact Willem Middlemiss on 07801 229129 or


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